Found January 18, 2012 on Football Nation:
Throughout the season and the NFL Playoffs, any discussions about the San Francisco 49ers have mostly centered on their defense. This weekend, San Francisco will host the New York Giants, and once again San Francisco’s defense will be the “it” factor that will determine whether San Francisco advances to the Super Bowl. San Francisco’s heart, passion and determination on defense are part of the reason for San Francisco’s turnaround this season. Specifically, San Francisco’s defense has shut down opposing offenses through hard hitting, getting to the quarterback and forcing turnovers.  No Points During the regular season, San Francisco recorded one shutout, while holding two other teams to only three points. Additionally, only five teams were able to score 20 or more points on the San Francisco defense during the regular season. San Francisco’s defense did give up 32 points to the New Orleans Saints, which is not great unless one considers the fact that New Orleans scored 40 o...

Relentless Justin Smith leads Niners stellar D

(Eds: With AP Photos.) By JOSH DUBOW AP Sports Writer Justin Smith bull-rushed Jermon Bushrod, driving the 315-pound NFL offensive lineman into the backfield as if he were a rag doll, reached over his shoulder and dragged quarterback Drew Brees to the ground to force an incomplete pass. The play in last week's playoff win over New Orleans showcased the skills that have made...

49ers’ Justin Smith Is Finally in the Spotlight

After playing in just one playoff game in his first 11 seasons, Justin Smith, a leading contender for defensive player of the year, is enjoying leading the 49ers’ defense into the postseason.

Fangio on the 49ers' tradition: 'We've restored that'

After last week's win against the Saints, 49ers defensive coordinator Vic Fangio said he'd placed a picture of Justin Smith on the cover of the defensive notebook during training camp. Along with Smith's picture was "0-1," the Pro Bowl defensive tackle's postseason record during his 11-year...

Who Is The San Francisco 49ers' 2011 MVP?

The San Francisco 49ers were 6-10 last season, but this season turned things around recording a 13-3 record. The turnaround came about due to many factors including, a new head coach, improved play at the quarterback position, and a potent defense. While there are many great players on the team, the following is my five candidates for San Francisco’s MVP. Alex Smith: This season...

Ex-Mizzou star Justin Smith inspires 49ers defense

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- The San Francisco 49ers didn't wear their heart on their sleeves this season.

Smarter Stats: New York Giants at San Francisco 49ers

NFC Championship Where: Candlestick Park When: Sunday, January 22, 6:30 PM ET The Week 10 matchup between the Giants and 49ers (a 27-20 San Francisco win) was more atypical than indicative when it came to the San Francisco offense. Jim Harbaugh operated one of three NFL offenses that ran more than it passed in 2011 (the Denver Broncos and Houston Texans were the others), but of the...

Bruce Miller: From lost in the huddle to SI cover

Just over five months ago, 49ers rookie fullback Bruce Miller couldn't have guessed he'd be on the cover of Sports Illustrated. He was too busy trying to ensure he was on an NFL roster. In a season filled with remarkable stories ? Alex Smith's resurrection and Aldon Smith's emergence among...

NFC Championship: Six 49ers who must step up

Everybody knows the list of usual suspects the 49ers will be relying upon in Sunday’s NFC Championship Game – front-line producers such as Vernon Davis, Frank Gore, Justin Smith and Patrick Willis, the same guys who’ve been doing it all season. But to make it to the Super Bowl, it may come down to what the 49ers get from a handful of complementary players who must step up against the Giants.

Friday Morning Observations: 49ers

As promised, here are my random 49ers observations: - The Niners passing game is better at home in almost every single way: completion percentage, yards per attempt, and touchdowns. Most shockingly, they’ve allowed only 13 sacks at home to 31 (!) on the road. This is most unfortunate for the Giants, as their defense runs on getting after the passer. - But strangely enough, Frank...
NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.